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Gould Data Knowledge Base

Analyzing Tool: Overview


  • Handle and manage entire folders of files
  • Organize and label files with advanced tabs
  • Automatically split long documents into individual pages
  • Ignore meaningless words
  • Compare data to text (narrow the date of publication,  document type, or any other field related to each document)
  • Automatically OCR (Optical Character Recognition) a PDF that has been scanned
  • Customize your word cloud
  • Analyze text-based social media posts (must first convert to CSV files)

May have to create a free account with Overview before uploading files. 

Overview Layout


1.) Get your documents into Overview

  • If all of your documents are in PDF form you can simply upload them directly. 
  • You can also upload your documents as a CSV file, a type of spreadsheet file that you can save from Excel, export from a database system, or create manually in a text editor.
  • A useful trick for uploading many documents simultaneously: when the file dialog box opens you can select all of the documents in a folder simultaneously by clicking on the first file, then shift-clicking on the last file (or pressing Control-A on Windows, or Command-A on Mac).

2.) Explore the documents in the tree view

Overview’s main screen is divided into four parts: the folder tree, search field, tag list, and document viewer (see image on this page). Each folder is labeled by the keywords that best describe the documents filed under that folder. The label also tells you if MOST, SOME, or ALL of the documents in that folder contain each keyword. A folder’s sub-folders contain, collectively, all of the documents in the parent folder, broken down into increasingly narrow topics.

The document viewer shows either a particular document or a list of selected documents. Each document in the list is summarized by a list of keywords specific to that document.

If you know what you’re looking for, enter your query in the “search” box and Overview will show you where documents containing that term appear in the tree.

The tree automatically expands and zooms to follow your selections. Or you can pan it by dragging with the mouse, and zoom using the +/- buttons or the mouse wheel. Folders marked with ⊕ can be expanded to show sub-folders, while ⊖ hides sub-folders.

3.) Tag interesting documents

Enter a descriptive tag in the “new tag” field and press “tag.” Tags and folders have independent lives: each document can have any number of tags applied to it, and the same tag can be applied anywhere in the tree.

4.) Work your way through the tree

Select a folder then view a few of the documents in it to see if you understand what they have in common. If specific words appear in MOST or ALL documents in a folder, that’s a sign that the folder contains a single meaningful topic. Otherwise there may be more than one important topic in the documents in that folder, so try opening child folders instead until you find a folder where all of the documents are similar. Then tag that folder with a descriptive label.

You may also discover that the documents in a folder are irrelevant to your work, in which case you can tag them with “read” and simply move on. Part of the power of Overview is being able to decide not to look at an entire folder.

When you’ve finished this process, you’ll have a neatly categorized tree and a set of tags corresponding to all the interesting topics in your documents.